When to consider hiring candidates without experience


When to consider hiring candidates without  experience


When it comes to hourly workers, finding experienced candidates is not always easy. This is partly due to the age of candidates, around 20% of which are under the age of 25, and partly because the current climate is pushing more workers to change career paths. As common as this is, candidates looking for jobs without any industry experience often find it hard to prove their value to potential employers.


However, just because a candidate has little to no industry experience, it doesn’t mean they’re not worth your attention. Inexperienced candidates can save your business money or spark unexpected innovation. With the right training, a candidate with the right attitude could become an  asset to your small business.


The benefits of limited experience


Sometimes employers equate experience with performance, but that’s not always a direct correlation. While previous experience can be  a good indicator of job success it’s definitely not the only one, which is why workers with less experience can be a valuable addition to any business.


Saving money is often the main driver behind hiring inexperienced candidates for some roles. The longer someone has been working in a field, higher their income expectations.  That being said, it’s still important to pay your inexperienced staff a fair wage; there are high costs to low salaries, including high turnover and low motivation.


Candidates with no experience might also be more receptive to training than experienced candidates. More seasoned candidates are more likely to fall into ‘mental ruts’ when it comes to working methods or best practices. A candidate with no experience is a blank slate, ready to take on training specific to your business, and may even be more likely to spark innovation with new ideas or practices.


Balancing experience and training


On-the-job training can help offset any gaps in a candidate’s previous experience. It’s a balancing act: the less a candidate has of one, the more they’ll need of the other. But that doesn’t mean you should think of training as a burden., Instead, see it as an opportunity.


Workplace training boosts efficiency, encourages retention, and even helps the economy. Structured training programs also show new employees that you appreciate them, which is especially important considering 79% of workers who quit say they felt underappreciated.


Training also gives you extra control over how your business operates. You can establish methods and best practices in line with your business values. It is especially important now, as businesses prepare for reopening after coronavirus, to establish specific training that  ensures the safety of your staff and customers. .


Attracting the right candidates


Once you’ve decided to consider less experienced candidates for your open positions, it’s important to ensure the job posting is written in a way that captures what is truly required of the role.. When writing your job posting keep in mind the candidate’s CAPS:


      Capacities: What capabilities, mentally and physically, are required of the candidate

      Attitudes: How the candidate approaches the role. Are they dependable, motivated, professional?

      Personality: Traits that might help the candidate perform well, including approachability or confidence

      Skills: The candidate’s previous relevant experience


Notice how relevant experience makes up only a quarter of what you should be looking for in an ideal candidate. If you break down the role across the four CAPS, you might find that a candidate’s attitude or personality is more important to their success in the job. When considering candidates, bear in mind that you can always train up an inexperienced candidate, but it’s a lot harder to change their attitude or personality.


Look for passion


Of course, training is only valuable if the trainee is willing to receive it. Passion and motivation  are two of the most important factors when it comes to recruitment. An inexperienced candidate that is willing and eager to work for you, is much more likely to become a valuable worker than a candidate with lots of experience but no motivation.


The best place to see motivation is in the interview, but remember that some candidates might be more uncomfortable in interview settings. To get the best out of your interviewees, do your best to reduce stress before the interview starts. HR expert John Sullivan recommends emailing candidates with an idea of what to expect in advance. Then, once you’re in the interview, try your best to be interested and engaged in what the candidate is saying. After all, an interview is also a chance to see if you’re the right fit for them, you want to come across well.


Assessing potential


Finally, remember that recruitment is about the future, not the past. Everything from application to interview is about assessing the potential of each candidate. How well could they perform in the role? What would they bring to the business? Although some of that can be determined from previous experience, a full resume is not always a perfect indicator of the right fit. 


About the Author

Joe Mackenzie is a writer and editor for Snagajob at Upwork. They write articles on tech, business and lifestyle, focusing particularly on the impact of the coronavirus. Joe's first hourly job was at the Royal Oak pub.

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